Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Kugel & The Seder Plate ... A little late!

Ok, I know I'm late. The end of Passover was over a week ago ... 

Last week, Leah and Adam invited Julie, Andrew and me to enjoy a late Passover Seder.  It was my first Passover and I had a great time eating matzah ball soup, kugel and drinking four glasses of wine.  Leah, who shared a Seder recipe with me last year, was kind enough to let me photograph her dinner and provide her kugel recipe.  Thanks Leah!


Leah wanted me to tell you kugel is not dish specially reserved for Passover — just something she wanted to serve at her Seder. She explained that Kugel is not kosher for Passover because noodles contain Chametz. Chametz is a product that is both made from one of five types of grain, and has been combined with water and left to stand raw for longer than eighteen minutes, essentially leaven grain. That's why we eat matzah durring Passover, unleaven bread. Egg noodles aren't kosher for Passover, but they do make some sort of gluten free noodles that you can substitute for Passover.

  • 12 oz wide noodles 
  • 1c milk
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 stick butter (or 3/4 stick)
  • 5 eggs
  • 16 oz sour cream (or light sour cream)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • cinnamon to taste (I use about 1/2 t)
  • Frosted Flakes cereal

Cook noodles and drain. 
Add next 6 ingredients and pour into 9x13 Pyrex baking pan.
Cover with Frosted Flakes and sprinkle with cinnamon.  (Some people do cinnamon on top but I like to mix it in with the noodles.) 
Bake at 350 until done (usually 30-45 minutes). You may have to cover the pan loosely with foil so the frosted flakes don't burn.

What's on the Seder Plate?

Charoset: (Leah shared this recipe last year) The grain, red wine and raisin mixture seen above.  This dish represents mortar used by Hebrew slaves to build the pyramids. 

Karpas: A vegetable other than bitter herbs (parsley) dipped in saltwater at the beginning of the feast, representing pain and tears. 

Beitzah:  Boiled eggs, a symbol of mourning and sacrifice.  

Saltwater: See Karpas 

Maror and Chazeret: Bitter herbs, symbolizing the bitterness/harshness faced by Hebrew slaves. In Ashkenazi tradition, either horseradish (seen above) or romaine lettuce may be eaten in the fulfillment of the mitzvah of eating bitter herbs during the Seder.

Z'roa:  Leah's Seder was vegetarian, so we do not see this lamb shank on her Seder plate.  The Z'roa symbolizes the korban Pesach, Pesach sacrifice.  The Pesach sacrifice was a lamb that was offered in the Temple in Jerusalem, then roasted and eaten as part of the meal on Seder night. Since the destruction of the Temple, the Z'roa serves as a visual reminder of the Pesach sacrifice. It is not eaten or handled during the Seder. 

& the Orange ... 

The story goes, according to Adam and Leah, that a crotchety, sexist rabbi once told a young girl that a woman belongs on a *bimah as an orange on a Seder plate. (A bimah is the raised platform rabbis stand on.) People then decided to show their support for female rabbis by including an orange on the Seder plate. 

This story, though Jews follow the tradition, is false.  Leah sent me a link explaining the real reason for the orange: "The actual story is that Susannah Heschel began the tradition in the early 1980s as a protest against the exclusion of homosexuals from Judaism."

"The orange is now said to be a symbol of the fruitfulness of all Jews, including women and gay people." 

***Leah sent me several explanations copy and pasted in an email with her own notes.  I am not positive where some of where her original links came from and cannot provide proper attributions. 

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